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20 April 2015, 17:38 | Updated: 20 April 2015, 17:43
A man who went on the run for eighteen months following his involvement in a robbery at a cash and carry car park in Watford has been sentenced at St Albans Crown Court today (Monday April 20th) to a total of eleven years in custody.
Michael Mc Inerney, 34, of Borehamwood, who at the time of the offence was living in Radwell, Bedfordshire, appeared via a video link from Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes.
Arulchelvan ‘Nick’ Prasanna, who was 34, died from a fractured skull and other injuries which he sustained when he fell from a moving van following an incident on Sunday May 26th 2013, in the car park of Costco in Watford.
McInerney went on the run after he was arrested in December 2013 and bailed.
A European Arrest Warrant was issued but he was arrested in Corby, Northants in December last year following months of police investigations and appeals – including an item on BBC’s Crimewatch programme.
At an earlier hearing he pleaded not guilty to murder and not guilty to conspiracy to rob. His pleas of guilty to alternative charges of manslaughter and conspiracy to steal were accepted by the prosecution. He had 17 convictions for 32 offences and operated with alias names and false dates of birth.
At the time Mr Prasanna was attacked, McInerney was serving a 7 month suspended sentence suspended for 15 months for a similar theft from a motor vehicle at a cash and carry in Sheerness, in which a man who tried to stop him fell into the road.
Today he was jailed for a total of 11 years - 10 and a half years for manslaughter, 2 years concurrent for conspiracy to steal, with six months consecutive from the suspended sentence.
Last October cousins Patrick and James O'Driscoll were handed ten-and-a-half years and seven-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Prasanna. Patrick O'Driscoll's sentence was increased to 12 years on appeal.
Detective Inspector Scott Winton, from the Bedfordshire Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, who led the investigation, said:
“Arulchelvan ‘Nick’ Prasanna was a caring, honest and hard - working family man. His life was cut short when he courageously tried to stop a van where the occupants were believed to have been acting suspiciously. It then drove off and left him suffering with injuries which resulted in him losing his life and have also resulted in his young son having to grow up without his father.
“I would like to express my sincere sympathy to the family of Arulchelvan Prasanna, and thank them for the dignity and courage they have shown throughout what has been a living nightmare for them for almost two years. I hope the sentence passed today will enable them to have some closure.”
“Michael Mc Inerney is a man who showed no respect for the law. Despite knowing he had been involved in such a serious incident causing the loss of a young man’s life, he went on the run – refusing to face the consequences of his actions. His associates were sentenced, and yet he still tried to evade capture.
“These actions have caused additional unnecessary turmoil to Arulechelvan’s family and additional hours of police resources to try and locate him and bring him to justice. I hope this acts as a stark message to those who try to do the same – we will no stone unturned to find you and bring you before the courts."